Disbelief, shock, anger, and eventually despair; all emotions the Colter family from San Diego, CA had as they watched their stolen Dodge Caravan burn Wednesday morning.
The van had been packed for the next leg of their cross-country adventure taking them to all 50 states for what they describe as an educational experience for their oldest son.
Darrell and Rebecca Colter sold off most of their possessions, packed up the van with what was left, bought an $80 annual National park pass and drove north at the beginning of August.
Since the start of their trip they have visited 13 states, stopping at national parks and monuments along the way.
They came to St. Louis at the end of September to visit an uncle, and ended up staying one day too many.
The night before they were set to leave, their van was stolen out of the hotel parking lot.
It was found an hour and a half later, burning on Vandeventer Avenue, about a mile away.
With their two children in tow, the couple’s fortune quickly turned and they were able to line up another vehicle.
It’s a late model van with low miles, but they think it will fit their needs. They were also given a few bags of clothes.
Perhaps surprisingly, he couple isn’t bitter about what has happened.
While they are angry with the people who did this, they aren’t blaming the city; and they say this will not stop them from continuing on their journey.
For now, the couple plans to head to Illinois and spend some time with family there as they wait for vital documents to be recreated and mailed to them.
They hope to get back on track soon, so they can make it to New England before the snow starts falling.
You can follow their adventures on YouTube.